Differences between H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" novel and 1953 film Essay

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ENG 3c Culminating Assignment

The War of the Worlds: Book and movie adaptation comparison


Magaidh Gordon

Part A: Summary
The War of the Worlds (1898), a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, is the first-person narrative of an unnamed protagonist's (and his brother's) adventures in Surrey and London as Earth is invaded by aliens. Written in 1895, it is one of the earliest stories that details a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. Despite its age, this book is still a widely-enjoyed classic, and has inspired nearly 50 movies, 6 Broadway productions, and 2 musicals (one of which I personally own) in its time! The War of the Worlds presents itself as a factual account of the Martian
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It is a loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic novel of the same name, and the first of a number of film adaptations based on Wells' novel.

The film begins in the early 1950s, in southern California. Dr. Clayton Forrester, a scientist with the Manhattan Project, is fishing with colleagues when a large object crash lands near the town of Linda Rosa. At the impact site, he meets Sylvia Van Buren and her uncle, Pastor Matthew Collins. Van Buren says she saw the meteorite come in at a shallow angle, and Forrester observes it appears far lighter than normal for its very large size; his Geiger counter also detects it is slightly radioactive, but the object is still too hot to examine closely. Intrigued by these anomalies, Forrester decides to wait in town overnight for it to cool down.
Later that evening, a hatch on top of the object slowly unscrews and falls away; a pulsating, mechanical, cobra-shaped head piece emerges, supported by the long goose-neck of a Martian war machine. The three men who remained behind at the crash site as night guards approach, waving a white flag, and the cobra-head fires a heat-ray, vaporizing them; it also damages a nearby electrical tower, knocking out the power to Linda Rosa. Dr. Forrester notices that his and other people's watches have stopped running, having become magnetized; he then observes the sheriff's compass now points towards the meteorite crash site, away from magnetic north. Forrester and the